light bends glass?

December 15, 2008 at 11:55 pm | | literature

Interesting paper in PRL (or read the summary here):

Light gives a push rather than a pull when it exits an optical fiber, according to experiments reported in the 12 December Physical Review Letters. The observations address a 100-year-old controversy over the momentum of light in a transparent material: Is it greater or smaller than in air? In the experiments, a thin glass fiber bends as light shines out the end, apparently a recoil in response to the light gaining momentum as it passes from glass to air. But the many experimental subtleties mean that the issue is unlikely to be settled soon.

(download video: light-fiber-momentum.avi)

Does that make you want to vomit?

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